Very Vintage, Virginia: Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Welcome to Holiday Hills.

Welcome to Holiday Hills.

Miles of twisty, crinkly sparkly garland, vintage Coca-Cola signs, retro reindeer and more blow molds than you can shake a candlestick at, Christmas Town has gone retro with the all new Holiday Hills area.  If you’ve ever wanted to step back in time, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is the place to do it.

The Festa Italia section of the park has been transformed into a stroll through a 1950s Christmas card.  Oversized Santa heads, prancing reindeer, toy soldiers, singing angels, glowing candlesticks and classic Coke signs (complete with a sipping Santa) all give a nostalgic feeling of another place in time.  I really enjoyed this section and hope to make it back just to walk around some more, as well as catch a ride on the Peppermint Twist (teacups) and Snowman Summit.

Retro Reindeer

Retro Reindeer

Here are a few more of my favorite scenes from Holiday Hills.

Snowman Summit

Snowman Summit

Santa and classic Coca-Cola.

Santa and classic Coca-Cola.

The rest of the park is equally decked out in more than two, or three, or six million lights and holiday cheer.  The SkyRide takes guests high over the park for a great light-gazing show, while Mach Tower, operating at a slow pace, gives an even higher bird’s-eye-view of the park.  Take a frosty ride through the Black Forest on Verbolten, also open during Christmas Town evenings.

Mach Tower operates at a slow pace during Christmas Town - ©Busch Gardens

Mach Tower operates at a slow pace during Christmas Town – ©Busch Gardens

I like to take it easy, and Europe in the Air is much more my style.

Europe in the Air

Europe in the Air

Musical shows like Gloria! and Deck the Halls show off the immense talents of Busch Gardens’ performers.  Gloria! brings the story of Christmas and the nativity to life with songs like “Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem,” while Deck the Halls, in Das Festhaus, offers a lively song and dance ensemble of Christmas carols, along with a few favorite characters.

Here are a few favorites from Deck the Halls.

Deck the Halls - in Das Festhaus

Deck the Halls – in Das Festhaus

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls

Everybody's favorite snowman - Deck the Halls

Everybody’s favorite snowman – Deck the Halls

 

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls.

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls

Miracles, in the outdoor Il Teatro di San Marco Theatre, is another must-see production that takes guests on a sweeping journey of classical music, song and dance.  The little ones will enjoy A Sesame Street Christmas featuring Big Bird, Cookie, Elmo, Abby Cadabby and the rest of the furry, fun-loving gang.

A Sesame Street Christmas in the Globe Theatre.

A Sesame Street Christmas in the Globe Theatre.

My interests always run to the merchandise side of things and Busch Gardens manages to put as much of the Christmas spirit into their stores as the rest of the park.

Even the shops get decked out for Christmas.

Even the shops get decked out for Christmas.

Christmas

Christmas in the pink.

Nutcrackers of every size and shape

Nutcrackers of every size, shape and style.

Here is one of my favorite scenes at Christmas Town or any day of the year.  I can never visit the park without a stop at the Highland Stables.

Dear Santa...

I wonder if he will fit under my tree?

Even rides that aren’t operating during Christmas Town offer the opportunity for magical decorations and lights.  Pompeii looks so dressed up in its coat of water-inspired lights.  I just adore the purple trees along the pathway.

Pompeii all lit-up in lights.

Pompeii all lit-up in lights.

Of course, Christmas Town can’t be complete without those cute, waddling guys in tuxedos.  Even if Mr. Popper is not around, penguins make any day much more fun.

Magellanic

Magellanic penguins on loan from SeaWorld.

Magellanic penguins

Magellanic penguins

 

Magellanic penguins

Magellanic penguins

African penguins on loan from the Columbus Zoo.

African penguins on loan from the Columbus Zoo.

African penguins

African penguins

Polar photo ops.

Polar photo ops.

 

Hi there.

Hi there.

O Tannenbaum is a spectacular light show choreographed to a musical score.  This 50-foot Christmas tree in the Oktoberfest Village is the place to be for a magical ending to any Christmas Town adventure.

Das FestHaus

Das FestHaus

O Tannebaum musical light show in Oktoberfest Village - ©Busch Gardens Williamsburg

O Tannebaum musical light show in Oktoberfest Village – ©Busch Gardens Williamsburg

On a final note, it is almost worth the admission price just to try all of the food, desserts and tasty treats available during Christmas Town.  You’ll notice I don’t have any photos.  My traveling companions tend to quickly gobble things up that aren’t glued to the plate.  I recommend the pumpkin cheesecake and anything from Trapper’s Smokehouse, which offers a wide variety of frontier-style meals such as BBQ ribs, sliced brisket, super thick turkey sandwiches, smoked chicken and the best baked beans and macaroni and cheese around.  Also, and this is just me, but I cannot leave the park without a freshly made pretzel from the German bakery.  Guests can watch through the window as the pretzels are being made.

For more information on Christmas Town, please check out my theme park column at Examiner.com.

For a peek into Christmas Town Florida-style, including snow, head on over to Busch Gardens Tampa at AdventuresByDaddy.com.

Merry Christmas!

Disclosure: The author received complimentary admission to Christmas Town as part of Busch Gardens’ Social Media Event.  All opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author.

SandySignature

Comments

  1. Great photos Sandy! I was wondering how this event looked after seeing the press releases about it.

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